LONDON (AP) — UEFA imposed heavy sanctions on Serbia on Thursday for an on-pitch brawl and its fans' racial abuse of England players at an ill-tempered under-21s match.
Two Serbia coaches have been banned from football for two years while four Serbia players will also serve suspensions over the scuffles that broke out at the end of the European Championship qualifier in Krusevac in Oct. 16
UEFA fined the Serbian federation €80,000 ($105,000) and the under-21 team will have to play a match behind closed doors over "a number of incidents," including the brawl and racial abuse directed at black England players during the match.
However, the English Football Association said the punishment was too light.
"We are disappointed with the sanctions levied by UEFA with regards to the racist behavior displayed towards England's players," FA General Secretary Alex Horne said. "Let's be clear, racism is unacceptable in any form, and should play no part in football. The scenes were deplorable and we do not believe the sanction sends a strong enough message."
Serbian football officials acknowledged that the ugly scenes were unacceptable, and that it would take measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.
"This incident and today's measures represent the last warning for all of us who work in Serbian football, including coaches, players and fans," said Zoran Lakovic, the general secretary of Serbia's FA. "I remind everyone that we are under special UEFA scrutiny and even the smallest next mistake could lead to rigorous punishment."
England, which won the match 1-0 to qualify for the Euro 2013 in June, had also been charged with "improper conduct", but was only issued with a warning while two of its players were given suspensions.
The post-match brawl began after England defender Danny Rose complained he was subjected to monkey chants every time he touched the ball. He was sent off after kicking a ball into the stands after the final whistle, and gestured to the crowd that he had been racially abused.